The American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation have released two new guidelines outlining best practices for treating psoriasis with a focus on comorbidities and biologic treatment.

Developed by an expert workgroup composed of several dermatologists, as well as a cardiologist, a rheumatologist and patient representatives, the guidelines appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

One guideline focuses on the other health conditions that may be associated with the disease, including psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. This guideline also addresses the increased risk of anxiety and depression in psoriasis patients, as well as the effects of smoking and alcohol consumption.

The second guideline outlines the biologics’ effectiveness, recommendations for their use and potential adverse effects.

“Doctors should be aware of the conditions associated with this disease, educate patients accordingly, and work with those patients and other physicians to ensure that each patient receives the appropriate screening and treatment,” says dermatologist Craig A. Elmets, MD, FAAD, co-chair of the work group that developed the guidelines, in a news release.

“Our goal in establishing these guidelines is to help health care professionals educate their patients on the best way to treat their disease and mitigate the effects psoriasis can have on a patient’s overall health and well-being,” adds Randy Beranek, President and CEO of the NPF.

With biologics,  “it’s important for patients to understand [their] potential effects, both positive and negative,” says dermatologist Alan Menter, MD, FAAD, co-chair of the guidelines work group. “This guideline provides physicians with the information they need to discuss biologic medications with their patients and help them choose the treatment plan that’s best for them.”

The two guidelines published today are the first installments in a series of six, with four other psoriasis guidelines slated for publication in JAAD in the coming months. Upcoming guidelines will address phototherapy, the treatment of pediatric patients, non-biologic systemic medications and topical therapy.